I did it! I submitted my PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship application last Monday. It was an exciting feeling putting everything together and sending it off. The post office employee actually asked me if I was sending a book and I sort of was. It was only the first 20 pages of my memoir, but I had to put together 5 copies of the entire application which included the 20 pages, short answer questions, professional CV, 2014 tax summary, (2) letters of recommendation, and a $10 application fee. It was a thick piece of mail that’s for sure.
My husband has been my sounding board for all my nervous energy. He listens to me talk about how difficult it is writing this personal story and tells me not to get discouraged if I don’t get the Fellowship (he’s completely right and completely amazing). This is the first time I’ve ever submitted my work to be judged. Whoever looks at my submission will be the first to read a large portion of my memoir. It’s actually quite scary when I think about it. A person I don’t know will be judging what I’ve written. Their opinions will determine if I get to participate in this Fellowship.
If I don’t get it this year, there’s always next year or the year after. Now that I know about this great program I’m going to keep applying until I get it.
Now I just have to wait until October when they inform the finalists. I really hope I get this Fellowship because I think it will help me develop a clearer picture of my memoir and help me finish a first draft.